When I first watched ‘The September Issue’ on the plane last year I was intrigued by the creative red-haired lady. Who is this amazing person who is almost the exact opposite of the glamorous high priestess of fashion- Anna Wintour? Grace Coddington seemed low-key, private, intelligent and softly-spoken. I was so in awe that I read up about Grace and have dedicated this post to her.
She is the Creative Director of US Vogue and the auburn-haired genius behind most of the beautiful editorial pages the world has ever seen. Grace grew up in a very conservative family (her parents were hoteliers) so she moved to London as soon as she could and established herself as a top model in Britain in the 60s. However a disaster happened. She was involved in a car accident which affected her facial features. Despite this Grace managed to secure her place in the fashion industry even though it is obsessed with outer-appearance. She was asked to be a junior fashion editor at British Vogue in the 70s and later she joined Amercian Vogue the same day Anna Wintour started her stint there. Grace was initially hired as a fashion editor but she moved her way up as the creative director.
Grace may be perceived as the anti-thesis of Anna as they openly disagree with one another but this is perhaps why AmercianVogue is known for its inspiringly original artworks. Grace and Anna complete each other in a sense that Anna sees what’s coming up in fashion and Grace captures it in timeless artworks. When Anna got inducted to Magazine Editors’ Hall of Fame at the National Magazine Awards, she praised Grace as her ‘flame-haired, flame-tempered’ colleague ‘For always pushing the envelope and never taking ‘No’ for an answer.‘
Karen Elson, as Grace, with her many cats
Grace may be perceived as the Vogue Visionary but she admits that she hates trends, she likes fairytales and she likes dreaming. This may be why her artworks are always so achingly beautiful and original. Grace truly is a Visionary. She received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America in 2002. Aged 69, Grace contiues to work diligently with her creativity. Her aim is to weave reality into the dream. ‘When readers pick up Vogue, I want them to smile.’